“Be Heard” is the short title of my memoir, Be Heard: The Quiet Kid Who Started the World’s Loudest Violin Shop. I keep getting compliments about how engaging my writing is, but no offers from agents or publishers, even after multiple revisions. As I investigate self-publishing options, here are some tidbits to tide you over until I have a book to sign and hand you.
My career in violin shops began in 1978, ending in 2016 with my retirement as Electric Violin Shop transitioned to the first worked-owned co-op music retail store in the US. Playing violin and clarinet helped me express my inner truth during a childhood when my words were not welcome. Helping customers in Chapel Hill’s first violin shop began my journey towards the confidence and self-acceptance needed to wrangle some very cool stories into a memoir.
This book reclaims stories that I was compelled to suppress. After a move at age 9, I lost my friends and struggled with everything but my schoolwork and violin lessons. My parents did not want to hear my stories or emotions. I came to only feel safe as “Be seen and not heard.” With music, all parts of me could find expression, alone in my room or with others in band or orchestra. Only at age 26, when I opened Chapel’s Hill’s first violin shop, did I find a community interested in what I had to say. Let me take you behind the velvet counter with stories of violins and violin shops, performers and luthiers, and the founding of the world’s first (and still only) Electric Violin Shop.